Running back Jerome Bettis and tight end Troy Drayton, drafted to beef up the Rams' offense this season, were no-shows for the opening of training camp Sunday evening.
The Rams have $1.1 million remaining from their $2.139 million rookie salary cap to divide between Bettis and Drayton, but to date have been unable to satisfy their top two draft picks.
Jay Zygmunt, Ram senior vice president, declined to comment Sunday.
Bettis' agent, C. Lamont Smith, said the Rams continue to press for a five-year contract for their first-round selection. Smith said that Bettis would accept a five-year proposal if the Rams included an option in the fifth year.
"That would give Jerome a chance, if he's the player we think he's going to be, an opportunity to come back to the table sooner than later," Smith said. "The fifth-year option would become voidable if Jerome rushes for 1,200 yards in two of his first four years and if he went to the Pro Bowl once.
"This kind of thing appears to be a trend, and I think it would be hard to ask Jerome to be the lone person who doesn't have a voidable option. If that logic doesn't appeal to the Rams, then it could be a long time before we reach a resolve."
Bettis skipped the team's passing-game workouts last week, but Drayton, the team's No. 2 pick, was a full-time participant. However, Drayton checked out of the team's hotel near Rams Park on Sunday morning and did not make an appearance at training camp.
The Rams have reached contract agreements with defensive lineman David Rocker and tight end Travis McNeal and will sign both players today. . . . Offensive line coach Jim Erkenbeck will skip the first few days of camp to undergo medical treatment for an ailing throat. . . . The Rams' return to Cal State Fullerton after a two-year stop at UC Irvine also marked Knox's first trip back here in 16 years. "Twenty-one years ago I first came here," said Coach Chuck Knox, who coached the Rams to five consecutive division titles (1973-1977). "I hope we have the same kind of success we had at that time."